It is silent on Earth, Jesus is in the tomb. Heavy is the stone that silences him. Determined, the soldiers watching. The one whose Word bothered is reduced to silence, buried in the depths of death, in the blackest of darkness. Yet the Church is waiting. In this deafening silence, his hope cannot be extinguished: in prayer, we beg. Restore silence to our Earth, Lord, so that the cry of the poorest may be heard. May the thunder of war cease forever. Let the cries of hungry children be silenced. In the silence of our hearts, the desire for your mercy is reborn. We must believe in your Promise. The Cross cannot have the last word. God of Life, you speak to the humble who listen to you, you already murmur life stronger than death, the new joy that no one will be able to snatch from us. You cannot be absent, God of the Covenant sealed in the blood of your Son. And you cannot abandon those who have faith in your tenderness. Jesus said it, at the end of his Passion: in his death, “all is finished” (Jn 19, 30). His work is completed on this day like a Sabbath of new Creation… Father, lead us with Christ from desolation to consolation, from distress to joy, from death to salvation, from the night of tomb in the great Easter sun. Great and Holy Savior of silence, come and fill our hearts and our lives with your strength to love: there is no other victory than that of love which resurrects our deaths and which makes all our Hallelujahs vibrate forever.
Monday of the Octave of Easter (Mt 28, 8-15)
The resurrection gospels are narratives in motion, whether inward or physical. In the text of the day, the first movement is that of “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary”: a surge of tenderness and adoration, the desire to stand near the tomb of the one they loved. After the appearance of the angel, their movement becomes a race. A race interrupted by another movement, that of Jesus who comes to meet them and sends them on a mission. By moving physically, they also accomplished an inner journey which took them from their deep sadness to the joy of the proclamation. A movement of conversion that only the encounter with the Risen One can make possible. Another movement, contrary to this one, then sets in motion: the ancients construct a transformed version of the facts. They manufacture what could be called “fake news”. Recent events show us how much this reflex is anchored in the hearts of human beings when it comes to excusing their acts of violence. In this week of the resurrection, let us reject the leaven of the conspiracy that awaits us, even in the most daily acts, and let us all be like women! The Risen One comes to meet us: let us be available… let us reorient our course… let him, through his word, do his work of truth, gentleness and liberation within us.
Sister Véronique Thiébaut, Religious of the Assumption
Other texts: Act 2, 14.22b-33; PS 15.
Tuesday of the Octave of Easter (Jn 20, 11-18)
Marie-Madeleine stands outside. She’s crying. The world around her is all mourning and tears. She then leans towards the tomb, inside, bringing her tears there, coming from outside. A first meeting jostles her: two angels who ask her why she is crying. They replaced the object of his mourning because the body of Jesus is no longer there. But she is still inhabited by the search for a dead person and this interior encounter with the angels does not heal her tears. She turns outside, still crying. Jesus is there. “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for? Because she is looking for a dead man crying, she mistakes him for the gardener. As if she had taken refuge in a world that was definitely mourning. Then comes a word, from the outside, which reaches her deeply: “Mary! said Jesus. And “having turned around, she said to him in Hebrew, Rabbouni! She thought she was in charge of the dead body of Jesus – she wanted to grab hold of it – and now she discovered him alive, more “master” than ever of the situation. This reversal is at the heart of Easter. An interior experience of recognition that welcomes the exterior encounter with the truly risen Christ. The world is transfigured by it: Jesus, our master and Lord, has definitively healed our tears from the bitterness of death.
Father Nicolas Tarralle (Augustine of the Assumption)
Other texts: Ac 2, 36-41; ps 32.